Saturday, 26 November 2022

Your Cassette Pet!

Side 2 of a cassette compilation, recorded September 1991. 
Essentially, this is a trawl through my brother's collection of albums on tape, cherry picking favourite songs to stick on two sides of a C90. The title is nod to 1980's cassette-only album by Bow Wow Wow, which my brother didn't own and therefore isn't featured here, but I had a copy of a copy which my friend had given me.

It's an eclectic mix albeit firmly in 'alternative' territory, with Flesh For Lulu, Marc Almond (here with The Mambas), Bauhaus and Howard Devoto. I was arguably the bigger Depeche Mode fan as a teen but I bought only the singles, whilst my brother had their first three albums, all on cassette. 

Part of the appeal of cassettes was the 'double play' format, where you'd either get two albums for the price of one or a slew of bonus tracks on Side 2. Quite a few examples here: Fashion's Fabrique contained a whole side of remixes, whist Laibach paired Opus Dei with their cover of The Beatles' Let It Be album. 
The The's Soul Mining was perhaps the strangest of the lot. The original album on Side 1, the flip side containing 6 songs purportedly planned for The The's aborted album The Pornography Of Despair. Things get off to a reasonably normal start with the re-recorded version of Perfect. And then Three Orange Kisses From Kazan, a real WTF? moment. Initially, I was both shit-scared and morbidly fascinated by the song, but it's long since become a highlight of The The's back catalogue for me. 
Many of the artists have 2 or 3 songs on this compilation. This Mortal Coil is no exception, though the late inclusion of a 1:30 edit of Waves Become Wings was clearly to pad out Side 2's running time. With apologies to Lisa Gerrard, who is just getting into her stride when she's unceremoniously faded out, I've retained the edit for this recreated selection.
Last but not least, a brace of cover versions by Laibach (a third from Let It be is on Side 1). In both cases, they take songs - by Queen and Opus - that I didn't particularly care for and create bruising, industrial marching songs that take the clichéd phrase "...and make it their own" to a whole other place. 
Side 1 may take a while to come, as it features a track from Bristol-band Renegade Flight, who I saw live several times in the late 1980s and picked up a couple of their DIY cassettes from their merch stall. I think I've still got them - and a tape deck - somewhere in a box in the attic, so hopefully I can find and convert to MP3 format in the next 12 months. Just don't hold your breath!
1) The Sun And The Rainfall (Album Version): Depeche Mode (1982)
2) Rainy Season (Album Version): Howard Devoto (1983)
3) Subterraneans (Album Version): Flesh For Lulu (1984)
4) Something In Your Picture (Alternative Playback) (Half Frame) (Remix By Zeus B. Held): Fashion (1982)
5) Shame (Album Version): Depeche Mode (1983)
6) Geburt Einer Nation (Album Version) (Cover of 'One Vision' by Queen): Laibach (1987)
7) Who Killed Mr. Moonlight?: Bauhaus (1983)
8) Three Orange Kisses From Kazan: The The (1982)
9) Caroline Says II (Cover of Lou Reed): Marc & The Mambas (1982)
10) Waves Become Wings (Edit): This Mortal Coil ft. Lisa Gerrard (1984)
11) Opus Dei (Album Version) (Cover of 'Live Is Life' by Opus): Laibach (1987)

1982: A Broken Frame: 1
1982: Something In Your Picture EP / Fabrique (Special Edition Double Play Cassette): 4
1982: Untitled: 9
1983: Burning From The Inside: 7
1983: Construction Time Again: 5
1983: Jerky Versions Of The Dream: 2
1983: Uncertain Smile EP / Soul Mining (Special Edition Double Play Cassette): 8
1984: Flesh For Lulu: 3
1984: It'll End In Tears: 10
1987: Geburt Einer Nation EP / Opus Dei: 6, 11

Side Two (45:55) (Box) (Mega)


  1. This provoked a real memory!!

    The final, eponymous, Orange Juice album came out in 1984. As well as buying it on vinyl, I purchased the cassette as the other side had seven 12" mixes of OJ singles.....

    1. My brother (and therefore I) missed the OJ album at the time. Another 'double play' cassette that I was obsessed with was Assemblage by Japan, with a whole side of extended versions and live tracks.